Since its founding, the mission of the Cicerone Certification Program has been to inform, educate, and recognize professionals in the beer industry.

Ordering and enjoying your beer shouldn’t be any more difficult than ordering an entree at a restaurant. If you have a question about the menu, your server should be able to provide useful answers. If you would like help deciding, your server should have the knowledge and confidence to inform your decision. Finally, once it's time to enjoy the beer you selected, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether the beer has been handled properly, prepared appropriately, or what condition it's in.

In the early 2000s, Ray Daniels noticed that many bars that served specialty beers too often knew little about the beer or correct ways to serve it. Tired of stale, off-flavored beer and uninformed servers, Daniels decided the time was right to bring more knowledge and professionalism to the sale and service of beer.

The Cicerone Certification Program began in the US in early 2008. It was built on a grassroots basis with initial certifications going to enthusiastic beer industry professionals who then spread the word to colleagues and friends.

Cicerone was founded by Ray Daniels, a long-time home brewer, beer author, and festival and event organizer. Prior to starting Cicerone, he worked for nine years at the Brewers Association, the trade group for small brewers in the US promoting craft beer. He is also the author, editor, or publisher of more than two dozen books on beer and brewing including Designing Great Beers (Brewers Publications), a classic of US brewing literature. In addition to being the founder and director at the Cicerone Certification Program, Ray is currently a senior faculty member at the Siebel Institute of Technology, America's oldest brewing school and an investor in Chicago's Revolution Brewing Co.

Craft Beer Institute and Cicerone Certification Program are registered business names in the state of Illinois.

A question we are often asked is why does Cicerone have a .org address if it is a regular company? When the program began, was owned and used by another company, but .org was available for purchase. We checked regulations and found there were no restrictions or prohibitions against the use of a .org domain by a regular company, so we purchased it and made it our primary domain. The classified advertising site Craig’s List is another example of a company that uses a .org domain name.